A Colorado Low is bringing warm weather and rainfall to the Winnipeg River basin today. Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a Special Weather Statement detailing the expected conditions. Because the ground is frozen and there is very little snowpack to absorb the rain, overland runoff and localized flooding in low-lying areas is possible. The mild and wet weather will also reduce the quality and stability of any ice that has formed this winter. Caution is advised.
Although the rain will cause rapidly increasing river flows and increased lake inflows, there is no concern for flooding of the major lakes. The rain will reduce or eliminate the snowpack covering the basin and conditions are forecast to be dry with colder temperatures over the next week. Adjustments to lake outflows may be required over the next few weeks depending on conditions.
The current level of Lake of the Woods is 322.53 m (1058.2 ft), a 30th percentile level, near the bottom of the normal range for this time of year. The average lake level declined by 2 cm (0.5 in) over the past week and is expected to increase by 1 to 3 cm (0.5 to 1 in) over the next week. Lake of the Woods authorized outflow is 350 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.
The current level of Lac Seul is 354.94 m (1164.5 ft), a 15th percentile level, which is below normal for this time of year. The lake level declined by 10 cm (3.5 in) over the past week and is expected to decline by 4 to 6 cm (1.5 to 2.5 in) over the next week. Lac Seul authorized outflow is 275 m3/s with no changes scheduled at this time.